Our Lady of the Lake beckons

Del Rio High senior David Tellez, seated center, is joined by his parents, Elizabeth and Raymond Mendoza; sister, Crystal Tanguma; brother-in-law, Oliver Tanguma; Rams soccer coaches and Our Lady of the Lake athletic director and soccer head coach Shane Hurley at a signing ceremony for Tellez. Tellez will play soccer for Our Lady of the Lake University.

All-district defender David Tellez is taking his talents to San Antonio.

The Del Rio High senior has signed a letter of intent to play soccer for the Our Lady of the Lake University Saints, an NAIA school that competes in the Red River Athletic Conference.

Tellez becomes the latest Del Rio High athlete to compete for the Saints. Other recent Del Rio athletes include baseball player Caleb Mireles, long distance runner Bianca Renteria and soccer player Jeannette Montes.

The son of Elizabeth and Raymond Mendoza, Tellez was one of the most versatile players on the Rams. His work as a tenacious defender earned him not only all-district honors but also earned him the Rams’ co-defensive player of the year award. He was also the team’s most vocal leader and its biggest supporter, leading him to receive the Team Spirit Leader award.

He also earned the nickname “Colombia,” as an homage to his home country. Rams head soccer coach Tani Canchola said that being from another country was a challenge for anyone, but Tellez embraced the challenge and turned into the heart of the Rams soccer program.

“He came to us a couple of years ago from Colombia. I still remember the day I met him and his parents. I had heard about him and seeing him and his size I knew he could help us,” Canchola said. “He’s all smiles. If I can say anything about David is that he has the best personality. He’s the heart of our team. He’s all heart. And he’s hard to get upset at. If he makes a mistake during a game, he’ll come over and say ‘mala mia’ (“my bad” in Colombian). He said that a lot so I hope you’re ready to hear that in college. But he’ll get up and go back to work and that’s just what he does.”

“I’m proud of him and what he’s accomplished. And playing at the next level we know he’ll be successful because that’s the kind of kid he is,” Canchola continued. “I know he’s from Colombia, but you’re from Del Rio now. We’ve accepted you as one of our own. They’ll still call you ‘Colombia,’ but be sure to let them know you’re from Del Rio. Don’t forget that part. I love the kid to death and we’re going to miss you and we appreciate everything you did for us.”

Smiling from ear to ear, Tellez kept his remarks short.

“Thank you to everyone, especially my mom who has always been there for me. Being from another country is difficult but I took the challenge and I’m here. Thank you,” Tellez said.

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